Hyperbat: Williams & Unipart joint venture

Hyperbat Limited is a Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group joint venture to create the UK’s largest independent vehicle battery manufacturer. Launched in September 2018 the company’s factory is in Coventry, creating around 90 new, high-value, high-tech jobs. Hyperbat’s first customer is Aston Martin for the company’s Rapide E vehicle.

Hyperbat combines world-leading expertise in manufacturing, logistics and safe, innovative, high performance vehicle battery technology from Williams and Unipart. The facility provides a secure future supply chain for UK-based car-makers as their vehicles transition to electric power, with the potential to provide similar solutions to developing marine and aircraft projects in future.

The move to create this new capability was welcomed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, at the launch of Hyperbat as a significant step forward in the UK’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions:

“Hybrid and electric vehicles will play a key part in Britain’s cleaner and greener future and this new high-tech facility – inspired by a government funded Advanced Propulsion Centre project – will develop new vehicle battery technologies and create high-skilled jobs in Coventry. Through the Industrial Strategy, the government is building on our world leading strengths in auto manufacturing and clean growth, making the UK the go-to place for these technologies and boosting the economic opportunities presented by our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Williams Advanced Engineering has years of experience electrifying vehicles, from powering all the cars on the grid of the ABB FIA Formula E championship in rugged and competitive conditions to projects as varied as the Vanda Electrics Dendrobium electric hypercar and Jaguar Vector Racing world speed record-breaking electric boat. In April 2018 Williams Advanced Engineering won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for its work translating learning from the Formula E battery project into commercial applications.

Unipart is well-known for its expertise in automotive manufacturing, logistics and supply. It uses its manufacturing and technological expertise to produce more environmentally-progressive equipment to fuel the future of road transport from Unipart’s century-old building in Coventry, which used to produce vehicle exhausts.

Hyperbat creates a new capability in the UK for hybrid and electric vehicles, securing the on-shore supply chain for the long-term. The joint venture will also deliver into high performance battery applications beyond automotive, delivering innovative technology and high value manufacturing, as well as jobs for the next generation workforce.

The site builds on an advanced manufacturing facility on Unipart’s Coventry site – the very site in which the British auto industry produced some of its first petrol vehicles. The location will now provide clean, sustainable electric batteries that can be tailored to individual auto manufacturer’s requirements and available to a wide range of companies seeking to introduce electric vehicles into their ranges.

The joint venture was inspired by H1PERBAT – an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)-funded, Williams Advanced Engineering-led consortium of organisations, set up in 2017, which also includes Unipart, Coventry University, Aston Martin and others. It was established to build a high performance, low volume, flexible battery capability in the UK. The joint venture will also draw on work undertaken by H1PERBAT, which also looked at second life options for car batteries, enabling a long-term sustainable future for the products in both the vehicles and beyond.

The products from the facility will meet global vehicle battery standards, including ISO26262 from the outset.